Bolton 0 – 2 Arsenal, Viva La Espanyol…

Morning fellow troopers,

Yesterday’s game was a great game of football. We played very well throughout the game and look assured with our play. Bolton had a new manager in Owen Coyle, but their style was the same as before his arrival, with Bolton severely dirty. I do like Owen Coyle and his philosophy of good football – it’s got him to where he is now, and he’s done tremendously well with Burnley. Bolton have historically been known for their over physical style and whether or not Coyle has had time to imprint his style, the players at the club have the nature in their persona.

Cesc returned to the starting line up yesterday and it was a welcomed return. Arsene continued his policy of blooding the youth and gave Craig Eastmond a start in the holding midfield position. Rosicky was also restored to the line up in the absence of Nasri – whom Arsene has confirmed has a hamstring injury and will be out for three weeks.


Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Traore

Eastmond – Diaby

Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin


The game itself showed us a few things – one, that Traore is not ready for the Premier League. The left back has had a lot of playing time with the absences of both Clichy and Gibbs but he has been getting worse and worse with every game. Albeit he didn’t have too much protection, but he makes so many mistakes, it doesn’t bode well. With Clichy and Gibbs both returning – well, Clichy did return today – Traore may be on the way out this summer. His loan to Portsmouth is testimony to the judgement that Arsene had that perhaps he wouldn’t make it – the return of Clichy never more welcomed than right now.

Point two, we have a very good little player in Craig Eastmond – he played roughly an hour and did well, breaking up play, being positionally apt and he also nearly scored his first goal of the season on his debut. Point three, I may be wrong about Fran Merida – he didn’t look too bad today and the control and the finish for his goal was superb.

Cesc got onto the scoresheet again and that’s his 13th of the season. He was all over the pitch and his dribbling,
passing and quick thought were an example of why he is probably the league’s best player at the moment. Arsene spoke of the captain after the game and said this:

“If you watch the game today it is difficult to say how much but you don’t have to explain that it is important. I have not seen all the games but what is very interesting for us is that Cesc gets stronger and stronger and has more personality on the pitch, like the whole team. He will be 23 this year so he is just starting.”

Hopefully, Cesc will stay fit after this game, as he is very important to us and of course, we’ve now suddenly got 4 midfielders out in Ramsey, Nasri, Denilson and Song.

“In the last 48 hours we lost Aaron Ramsey and Samir Nasri to injuries and we now go into a period where every game becomes very, very important. For us it is important not to lose any more players and especially Fabregas because he is just coming back now. We survived okay when he wasn’t there but in the period coming up now where we have so many big games it is important to have him.”

It’s strange when you look at the scoring charts to think Fabregas has scored 13 goals, having missed so many games – he could get 20 by the end of the season. He says it’s all down to luck, but personally I think it’s down to the learning curve he’s going through.

“Maybe scoring more goals is just luck because when I was younger I had so many opportunities and they weren’t going in. But this year they are and it’s important that they keep coming. I have been training for a few years in front of goal and I feel stronger and that helps in the last yards.”

There were some unsavoury incidents in the game – with certain Bolton players going above and beyond reasonable commitment. There was a certain incident when a Bolton player kicked Cesc on the ground after he was fouled and then went on to pull his hair. I really hope video evidence means the player gets punished, because it’s uncalled for and misrepresents the nature of the game.

Let’s see what happens in the morning’s papers… Til then.

  • edison

    all in all a good game. another 3 points on wednesday @ emirates(providing we score 2 or more goals) and we shall go top of the table. Surely it can be done?

  • Debs

    Great to get 3 points, and the clean sheet away from home was brilliant as well. Hope on Wednesday, we’ll be singing that ‘We are top of the league!’. Awesome.

  • Yemi

    Lets go top !!!!
    Good game, at times i had my heart in my mouth, but altogether it looked like a game we would win right from the start.

    I had earlier predicted 1:0 at reebok and 6:0 at emirates. Since we had 2:0 at reebok, i guess we’ll get 4:0 at the emirates. That is our turf, our pitch, our home, our fans…. We know how to play at emirates so “Lets go there !!!!”

    On the game, bringing merida in and diaby falling back to holding role did not take any bite away from the game.

    Good start for eastmond too.
    Quick recovery to all those injured

    and see ya at the top on wednesday by Gods grace.

    There is also liverpool vs tot’ham on wednesday and i predict a draw

  • devday

    @Yemi, yes, it was one of those – at 1-0 up, I was kind of waiting for them to equalise. They were creative, so we have to watch out for them when we play them on our ground.

    Good to see our midfield coping with a trio of Merida, Cesc and Diaby. Also interesting to see Merida play in the Cesc position and Cesc go deeper.

    I love our players so much!

  • Leeroy.N

    I think he played deeper to calm the game down a little. Slow things down when needed and to stop any panic or anything unnecessary happening (try to). It’s good to see us gring out these kind of results. It’s where have been failing for many seasons. It shows the players are growing and learning each game. Eastmond played really well. He gave up a few silly fouls, but didnt allow himself to get bullied by the Bolton Mid. I was impressed. Great game, good 3 points!

  • goonerman

    @Leeroy.N, i reckon your bang on with the reason for cesc going deeper later in the game becuase if someone like merida plays there at 80 minutes and he plays silly balls to their players then they all of a sudden break on us but with cesc its pretty rare that he wastes a pass!

    Id love to go top on wednesday even if it was just for a few days it would surely give the players a huge belief and even more confidence! obviously we still have to beat bolton so lets hope for a good win!

    And something that just annoys me is the fact these pundits keep saying players like bellamy and tevez are the best players in the league on form but cesc is the one with 20 goals and assists combined FUNNY how he dont get a mention from some muppets lol.

  • Sam

    I called for Cesc to be named 2010 FIFA player of the year, and I’m standing by it. He’s certainly playing better than Kaka or Ronaldo or Messi.

  • goonerman

    of course hes the best in the world at the moment! i have a mate who is a spurs fan (im sorry) and EVEN he has to admit cesc is amazing at the moment so i suppose thats saying something lol !

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    i would just want to cry if he got injured. lets hope he doesnt, touchwood. if you read this, you must touchwood.


  • Kuka

    ..great result and good news to hear that Denilson and Walcott will be back for wednesday. B52 back for the villa game…..hopefully Sol can get his debut at Stoke..

  • ny

    Flamini may join Man City.They already have Dong,Viera,Johnson,Barry etc.They are collecting all the DMs like we had the craze of collecting right backs(2 yrs before).

  • jeffvip

    btw, if flamini were to join man city, he will be playing right back too… haha

  • Vazy

    yea i just read that!

  • Goonerman

    why dont arsene sign him back up on a loan deal till the end of the season ! you dont get much better defensive mid cover than flamini! he would love to come back and be reunited with CESC

  • Nick

    Flamini will not ever be back at Arsenal after his departure. His comments about everyone after he left were low class and proved what kind of person he is.

  • Yemi

    @nick: i agree with you, flamini did not leave in good circumstances…. He and hleb both left in not too good circumstances

  • Kuka

    ….Flamini did leave in bad faith and the thing is fans never forget some of these things. Should have learned from Sol – who despite the issues still showed respect to the club and the fans. For that am sure he will receive a standing ovation when he pulls that shirt on his second debut……As for Flamini – we do not need him. He is terrible influence to the other players

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Merida is injured and will miss the rematch against Bolton. WTF is going on with our players…can’t even play 20 minutes without crippling themselves???

  • devday

    Indeed, he picked up an ankle injury. Very frustrating… I’m doing a piece on our injuries now for publication later today!

  • arseneKnows

    On the injuries front
    Positively speaking, although we have a few back in the treatment room, the four coming back in;
    Clichy, Walcott, Denilson and Bentner are very important players for us! They really are first teamers so we should be happy about that especially with the crazy games coming up!

    Big up the boys!

  • Leeroy.N

    Totally off topic, but did anybody hear the rumour about the Bolivian “young” player we are supposed to be signing. They say the have found an old passport of his and he is really 21 not 17! WOW! Hahaha. Funny if true.